Do you Need Subjunctive when Talking about What you Want in French?

how to use the french subjunctive to wish for something

To express emotions in French, you need to employ the subjonctif. You can spot it by looking at the sentence, it’s built with a subjective verb, an adjective that expresses emotion, and when there’s a subject change.

Do you Need to use Subjunctive when Talking about What you Want in French?

The French subjunctive is more likely used with the present or past tense. You can also use the imparfait or the plus-que-parfait tenses but that’s usually used in written form.

To express a wish or a desire with the French subjunctive, you have to use a verb like vouloir (want to), aimer (to like), souhaiter (to wish), désirer (to desire), adorer (to love) with the subjunctive mood.

  • Vouloir: you can use this verb when you desire something, or when you’re wishing for something to happen.

Je voudrais que mes parents soient fiers de moi.

I want my parents to be proud of me.

  • Aimer: this verb is used when you’re hoping for something.

J’aimerais que nous puissions voyager ensemble en Europe cet été.

I wish we could travel to Europe together this summer.

  • Souhaiter: this verb is perfect for when you desire something when you form a wish for the thing you want.

Je souhaiterais que nous puissions tous vivre dans un monde sans violence ni guerre.

I wish we could all live in a world without violence and war.

  • Désirer: you can use this verb when you wish something for yourself or for others it could be the realization or the enjoyment of an action.

Je désirerais que mon travail ait un impact positif sur la vie des autres.

I would like my work to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

  • Adorer: this verb can be used when you want to say you’d love for something to happen.

J’adorerais que nous puissions trouver des solutions durables pour protéger notre planète.

I would love for us to find sustainable solutions to protect our planet.

Make a Wish French subjunctive

As we come to the end of this lesson, we hope that all the explanations, examples, and definitions we gave you are enough for you to feel confident when using the French subjunctive.

Now, head over to this lesson on the French subjunctive to express doubt, disbelief or possibility.

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